Seniors: Stay Healthy and Strong as You Age


How to Stay Healthy and Strong as You Age

As we get older, we tend to move our bodies less. Risks of fractures and falls increase, we get tired more quickly, and overall, we tend to be more careful with our movements. However, exercise is just as important— if not more— as you get older. Here's how you can stay strong and healthy as you age.

Increase your flexibility. Regardless of your strength, condition, and age, everyone can do some simple stretches to increase flexibility. Improving your flexibility can prevent injuries during falls and decrease the risk of fractures. Simple stretches, such as touching your toes or balancing on one leg, will improve your balance and overall quality of life. Having good balance, especially in your core, will significantly decrease your chances of falling in the first place.

Get some cardio in. Cardio exercises increase your heart rate and build up endurance. Just as the name suggests, cardio is very important for heart health and should be done at all ages. Don’t feel limited if you aren’t able to move as fast or for long distances. There are many different cardio exercises, including swimming (which is easy on the joints and reduces joint pain), walking or running, cycling, or dancing! Pick something that you enjoy and go at your own pace.

Build up your strength. No matter what age you are, you should incorporate strength exercises into your routine. Strength exercises are what build your muscles, which is especially important at an older age. Muscles that aren’t actively used will deteriorate over time, which can make basic activities, such as walking and going to the bathroom, more painful and difficult.

You don’t need to lift heavy weights and break personal records— simple body-weight exercises, such as push-ups and planks, can do wonders for your strength. The earlier you start exercising your muscles, the better your quality of life will be as you age.